From The Heart
Book Review: Big Miracles by Joanna Garzilli
The weather lately has been perfect for curling up with a good book, while the rain falls and Spring sorts out its dips in temperatures ahead of Summer.
One book in particular that jumped out as a need-to-share is: Big Miracles by Joanna Garzilli. I’m a student of A Course in Miracles, and as a result I wanted to find out what the miracle connection was. I kept in mind that a book doesn’t have to directly talk about one particular spiritual path in order to offer us insights about our place on it, and that’s the real beauty of a spiritual practice and life that’s open to miracles as perspective shifts.
While reading through, I made post-it notations so many times they created their own decoration about the book, while making notes in my journal because of the beautiful way they shifted energy within me.
The book’s format is immediately accessible to the reader, with language that’s approachable and that doesn’t require your participation in any special belief system, group or club in order to “get it”. Its multi-faceted applicability is where the real strength of Big Miracles lay. In a world of books that are about one particular topic, this one has a basis in many which means that the lessons and insights in it are very practical.
Big Miracles‘ main points were 11-steps that if followed, would lead to big breakthroughs. Admittedly I was at a point where I was curious, and thought to take some of the steps the book suggests. Rather than experience benign teachings that made me feel good without creating many shifts, I experienced the healthy outcomes that result from taking some of those 11 steps to clear heavy energy while gaining insight about my past, present and ultimately what my future could look like.
The steps include: Be a Spiritual Vehicle, Commit to Your Breakthrough, Forgive Mistakes, Live Without Ego, Believe in Your Ability, Accept Responsibility, Aim High, Take the Right Action, Be of Service, Get Outside Your Comfort Zone. They may sound like simple platitudes that make skeptics say, “Those are general thoughts for a good life though”, but trust me when I say that the real power of each step lies in the exercises and suggested actions relating to each one.
The concept of ego was broken down into an understandable series of ways that it impacts our lives, often without our realizing it. For those of you who are curious, Deepak Chopra has defined “ego” as, “Our self-image, not our true self. It is characterized by labels, masks, images, and judgments. The true self is the field of possibilities, creativity, intentions, and power.”
Big Miracles comes into play so beautifully, as it states that there was an original wound that underlies our present and future actions so that we use our ego to think, “If I can figure out how the pain happened, then I can remove the pain from my past. But because we can’t change the past, the subconscious mind creates circumstances in our present lives where we see if we can fix the old problem now. And the pain is reinforced.”
It’s freeing to think of the possibility that comes from setting down illusions and perceptions we’ve been fed, or that we might feed to others, in order to live fully in the present moment. The book states that if we consistently live from that place of pain, then the ego, “tries to disconnect you from your heart and limits your vision of what’s possible in your life.” It’s a passionate call for more presence and awareness in our days.
There are also powerful self-discovery questions the book asks that can make you aware of what ingredients you need (and how to ask for them) to lead a really great life. The exercises throughout the book ask important questions that are sure to call your willingness to pay more than lip service to spiritual concepts. It encourages taking responsibility for actions, understanding the stories we tell about our experiences, in addition to shining a light on the mistakes we try to hide as though our imperfections make us less qualified for our lives.
Additionally, in a world which often requires split-second decisions that are so urgent they needed to be made yesterday, the book promotes consciously considering our next steps and what impacts that will have. It’s true that time to decide is often a privilege and luxury, especially if you have demands beyond your control placed on you. What Big Miracles does is gives a series of questions that allows readers to act quickly. Some questions include, “Do I have enough information to move forward with my goal?” and “Is there another action I can take that would move me closer to my goal?” The many questions vary and are all great resources to have on hand if you know you’re going through a period of change, or if there are actions you’re looking to take but feel overwhelmed.
The reason why this book offers something so powerful to readers, is the encouragement to find answers of their own, rather than telling them how to feel about the most important issues to them. The best way to move forward in life is to listen to how you feel about a situation, rather than how others feel. Listening to and taking the advice of spiritual teachers has big money in it, and the most enjoyable part of Big Miracles is that the focus was on the reader’s experiences, not the author’s expertise. The book didn’t just offer insight, but afforded the reader the opportunity to become their own teacher and if that’s not a big miracle, then we need to reconsider our definition of miraculous.
One thing I know after finishing this book, is that it’s essential 2017 spiritual reading.
Love, Light and Miracles,
About the Author
Cheryl Costello is the founder of The Finding Hearts Project, also writes for the Brampton Focus and formerly wrote at The Loving Instant. She has also worked with Fortune 500 and Financial Post 500 companies to bring greater attention, awareness and action for LGBTQ+ issues, giving the community a powerful voice. She has conducted workshops for LGBTQ+ students on the power of reclaiming their power through owning the stories they tell and was also a Keynote speaker at a Toronto World Pride event in 2014. If she isn’t writing or organizing in the community, she’s out with her camera, wandering a bookstore or out hiking among trees and water. Have a question you want to see answered on the blog? Stop by her page on Instagram, join in the good vibes and send her a message: @cherylalisoncostello